With just a few weeks until Christmas, and just a week until Games Paradise can’t guarantee you’ll get your goodies in time to put under the tree, it’s time to check out some gaming goodness for Christmas. Here are some completely arbitrary choices for games to give to your significant gaming other, family member or friend. Remember, this Christmas and every Christmas, games are the gift that keeps on giving! Or the gift that keeps on gaming …

The Settlers of Catan: 15th Anniversary Edition
Nothing says ‘special gift’ to a gamer more than a special/anniversary/collector’s edition of a favourite game, and every gamer loves The Settlers of Catan. The 15th Anniversary Edition is just the thing if you really want to make an impact and give something that might even become a family heirloom in years to come. Why not start a new tradition with a special Christmas game of Settlers? Plus there’s something about wooden pieces that just says ‘Santa’s Workshop’, don’t you think?

Munchkin: Waiting For Santa
You knew it was coming, right? Let’s count the number of Munchkin spin-off genres from Steve Jackson Games: sci-fi, Cthulhu, super heroes, pirates, thinly-veiled Star Wars, country-bumpkin-meets-Cthulhu, fairies, spies—a search on BoardgameGeek brings up 77 Munchkin-related products! So the Christmas one was inevitable! Munchkin: Waiting For Santa includes 15 new Munchkin cards, including Santa Claus himself, his scary friends, and some special holiday Treasures.

Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas
I’m a big fan of Tim Burton’s films, so it was great to stumble across these games themed with his wonderful stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jenga, Yahtzee and Trivial Pursuit. Perfect for the young Goth gamer, the Tim Burton fan, or just anyone who loves purple and black!

Runebound 2nd Edition: The Frozen Wastes Expansion
OK, the chances of a white Christmas down here in Australia are pretty slim, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get into the swing of things with Runebound 2nd Edition: The Frozen Wastes Expansion. If you’re a gamer who loves fantasy-themed games, surely you’ve discovered Runebound by now. The Frozen Wastes gets your adventurers into their cold-weather gear for a fantasy adventure in the untamed wilds of Isheim to endure the ice, snow, and bitter winds. You might not bump into Santa and his elves, but you’re sure to encounter vicious beasts, harsh weather conditions, and legendary items of power!

Middle-Earth Quest
Talking about elves, there are pointy-eared ones aplenty in Middle-Earth Quest, a fantastic strategy game from the folks at Fantasy Flight Games. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, you’ll love this unique adventure game which is set in the years between Bilbo’s birthday party and the ring’s departure from the Shire. One player is the dark lord Sauron, while the others are unique heroes questing across the land, holding the darkness at bay until Gandalf’s plans have matured. This is fantastic game that really deserved more attention than it received on its release, and a wonderful gift for your gaming friend or relative.

Ticket to Ride
Christmas is all about having the family together to celebrate, so this Christmas, why not try something different and introduce you’re family to a boardgame like Ticket to Ride? It’s the perfect game to play with people whose only past experience of boardgames has been Monopoly, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit. The classic Spiel des Jahres winner is a proven hit with gamers and non-gamers alike, and a great way to relax while you’re letting all that delicious Christmas food digest!

Well, we’ve got a little off the subject, but perhaps I’ve given you just a few ideas to fill those Christmas stockings or the space under the tree this year. A very merry gaming Christmas to all, and to all a good game!